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Issue 7, 2006
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Dissolvable membranes as sensing elements for microfluidics based biological/chemical sensors

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Abstract

We demonstrate a chemical and biological sensing mechanism in microfluidics that transduces chemical and biological signals to electrical signals with large intrinsic amplification without need for complex electronics. The sensing mechanism involves a dissolvable membrane separating a liquid sample chamber from an interdigitated electrode. Dissolution of the membrane (here, a disulfide cross-linked poly(acrylamide) hydrogel) in the presence of a specific target (here, a reducing agentdithiothreitol) allows the target solution to flow into contact with the electrode. The liquid movement displaces the air dielectric with a liquid, leading to a change (open circuit to ∼1 kΩ) in the resistance between the electrodes. Thus, a biochemical event is transduced into an electrical signal via fluid movement. The concentration of the target is estimated by monitoring the difference in dissolution times of two juxtaposed sensing membranes having different dissolution characteristics. No dc power is consumed by the sensor until detection of the target. A range of targets could be sensed by defining membranes specific to the target. This sensing mechanism might find applications in sensing targets such as toxins, which exhibit enzymatic activity.

Graphical abstract: Dissolvable membranes as sensing elements for microfluidics based biological/chemical sensors

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 May 2006, accepted on 19 May 2006 and first published on 31 May 2006


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/B607066C
Citation: Lab Chip, 2006,6, 840-842
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    Dissolvable membranes as sensing elements for microfluidics based biological/chemical sensors

    S. S. Sridharamurthy, A. K. Agarwal, D. J. Beebe and H. Jiang, Lab Chip, 2006, 6, 840
    DOI: 10.1039/B607066C

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